2015 Fantasy Baseball: Week 16 Two-Start Pitchers
A fantasy owner’s best friend is the waiver wire—where finding value can make the difference between a great week and a very disappointing week. Most pitchers see the mound once a week, but if you want to maximize the number of starts per week, it’s important to look for pitchers pitching twice and exploit favorable matchups if they exist. With that, let’s take a look at some pitchers you should be starting this week, and some you should just leave on your bench.
David Price | Detroit Tigers
Opponents: Jake Odorizzi (TB), Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)
Assuming he doesn’t get dealt, Price is my favorite play of the week. The southpaw will face the Rays on Tuesday and the Orioles on Sunday. The Rays are hitting .212 since the all-star break (29th in the league), while the O’s are hitting .226 in the month of July (26th in the league). Both teams have been decent against lefties this season, but Price isn’t just any lefty. There’s a good chance he gets traded by Friday, but for now he’s scheduled to make two starts and both matchups are above average. The Price will be right this week.
Jeff Samardzija | Chicago White Sox
Opponents: Wade Miley (BOS), Ivan Nova (NYY)
Don’t look now, but the Chicago White sox have the lowest team ERA so far this month (seriously, check it out). Samardzija is another name rumored to be on the trade block, but that won’t scare me away from using him. The Red Sox and Yankees are both top-ten hitting teams, but the White Sox are hot right now and I’m not ready to bet against them. Outside of his start against the Royals, the 30-year-old has given up two runs in 24.2 innings. He’s still carries some risk, but I’m confident that he will have two very good starts this week (assuming he doesn’t get traded of course).
Jose Fernandez | Miami Marlins
Opponents: Jordan Zimmerman (WAS), James Shields (SD)
I’m in love with Fernandez this week. The Nationals are Padres are ranked 27th and 30th this month in team batting averaging and strike out close to eight times per game (WSH: 8.8/GP, SD: 7.95/GP). If manager Dan Jennings doesn’t pull Fernandez after 75 pitches to try and win the game, the hard-throwing righty could finish with double-digit strikeouts in both games. Fernandez ain’t going anywhere any time soon, so roll him out there and start counting the punch-outs.
Other options to consider: Sonny Gray, James Shields, Noah Syndergaard, Anibal Sanchez.
Matt Shoemaker | Los Angeles Angels
Opponents: Collin McHugh (HOU), Brett Anderson (LAD)
Shoemaker pitched arguably his best game of the season last time out, but I’m not ready to say he’s back just yet. The 28-year-old is a boom-or-bust play this week, facing the Astros on Tuesday and the Dodgers on Sunday. There’s no secret that Houston can hit homeruns, but they can also strike out a ton, making Shoemaker an all-or-nothing candidate. The Dodgers aren’t as dangerous of a team, but they’re still hitting .253 as a team this year. The real appeal here is against the Astros. If Shoemaker can have himself another strong outing against Houston, he may build enough momentum to help him get past the Dodgers.
Chris Heston | San Francisco Giants
Opponents: Kyle Lohse (MIL), Martin Perez (TEX)
Chris Heston has been pretty good over his last three starts, giving up just one run in 20.1 innings. He faced the Mets, Phillies and Padres in those starts, so he’ll need to be ready to face some much better competition this week. Milwaukee is hitting a crazy .289 in July and will certainly give Heston a real test. Texas has enjoyed a decent month of July, but I expect some regression from them towards the end of the month, which could start this weekend. He’s a risk to get lit up by the Brewers, but I’ll take the risk and roll the dice with him this week.
Other options to consider: Mike Fiers, Nathan Karns, Trevor Bauer, Julio Teheran, Jordan Zimmerman, Lance Lynn, John Danks, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ivan Nova.
Mike Montgomery | Seattle Mariners
Opponents: Robbie Ray (ARI), Kyle Gibson (MIN)
After starting the year on fire, the rookie has come back down to earth. Some regression was to be expected here, but Montgomery has seen his ERA jump from 1.62 to 3.25 since the beginning of July and hasn’t pitched more than six innings since June 30th. The Diamondbacks and Twins aren’t elite hitting teams, but I expect both teams to rough up Montgomery by the end of the night. It’s clearly a learning curve for the 26-year-old, but fantasy owners should hold off till we see some improvement from the lefty.
Joe Kelly | Boston Red Sox
Opponents: John Danks (CHW), Matt Moore (TB)
If you’re looking for a pitcher to stream this week, Kelly isn’t your guy. The 27-year-old has a 5.74 ERA, a 1.49 WIP and has given up four-plus runs in three of his last four starts. At this point, Kelly shouldn’t be on anyone’s fantasy team. The White Sox and Rays aren’t power hitting teams, but they should have no problem hitting the righty hard, and often. Leave Kelly on the waiver wire and look for a better option.
Other pitchers to avoid: Mike Leake, Chris Young, Mike Pelfrey, Raisel Iglesias, Kevin Gausman, Felix Dubront, Adam Morgan, Martin Perez.